Elder Scrolls Online Impressions: Intro – Are You Going To Play?

February 15, 2014


So you might have heard, the NDA for The Elder Scrolls Online has been finally lifted…up to a point. I’m still not allowed to share higher level experiences in the PTS (though that’s okay, I haven’t gotten too far in that anyway) but it’s nice to be able to talk about my impressions. I don’t have any big huge comprehensive post planned or anything about my “weekend beta” experiences because I’m sure that will be covered extensively elsewhere by other bloggers, but I probably will scatter this blog with thoughts on ESO all the way up to release and beyond, with whatever I am able to share from the test server.

I have some future topics kicking around in my mind — character creation, grouping, graphics, combat, etc. — but first, the intro post. And my question is, are you going to play ESO? I think most people generally are going to be interested in that one question anyway. My own answer is a definite resounding “Yes.”

I suppose that also answers the question about my overall impression of the game. It’s quite positive; I do like it. And honestly, it only gets better, especially if you have a buddy or two to play with in a group. I’ll admit I haven’t been paying attention to the press reviews lately, but I understand they haven’t been glowing. And that’s fair; not every game will be for everyone, and I think ESO may have a harder time finding its audience in its awkward straddling position with one foot in the MMO world and the other being held up by the success of Elder Scrolls franchise.

The truth is though, my standards are probably less rigid than they can be, and I’m someone whose gameplay style and tastes are pretty flexible, as long as I’m having fun. And to be brutally honest, I wasn’t having any of it when I first joined the beta in its earlier versions. But over time, the game has evolved to a point where I’m actually quite impressed, with the last beta weekend giving me the most enjoyable experience I’ve had so far.

It’s still not perfect, of course, but we’ve got a couple months until release so I’m optimistic. At least, my confidence was high enough that I’ve already preordered the game, so I hope I’ll be seeing some of you at launch!


  1. interesting – I know my husband was on early beta, tried it for a day and hated it, hasn’t gone back. Good to hear it’s improved somewhat.

    • Yeah that was my thoughts at first too. Well, hate might be too strong a word, but I didn’t have much desire to play at all. It’s gotten a lot better.

  2. I am on the fence; more from the perspective that I really enjoyed my Beta slot, but I am just not sure I want to afford a monthly fee for a game that I will essentially play solo. It feels a LOT like Skyrim to me (which is a good thing), and it’s more interactive with others in the world (also a good thing), but I just find it next to impossible to commit to regular play time, and thus, spend most of my time playing solo.

    • Time is always an issue 🙂

      And I agree, it looks and feels a lot like Skyrim, which is what I’m sure they intended and I think it’s a good thing too. I enjoy the greater interaction too, as can seen by the way I rampantly break into NPC homes and steal their stuff 😛

  3. Currently its a no, the beta weekends did not impress me enough from what I played. While I do like some of the concepts they are going for I am concerned that their intro is terribly generic and the entire wake up dead tutorial could have been done in 5 minutes on a boat morrowind style rather than a long annoying gated entrance.

    I’m too sure if there is a skip tutorial option but hopefully there is one.

    The price to buy and pay is also way, and I mean mindbogglingly way too high – in New Zealand the asking price on direct conversion is $90 for standard edition $130 for digital downloads.

    I’ve seen some companies offering it at $65 (with a save 55 dollars sale tag on it) which is still $30 above what I would expect to pay. it also sends a clear message that the companies themselves think that a new game at 90 is stretching it.

    Price aside I think that the game is a solid average when you play the beta weekend – these are hard to get a good idea of the later game but that isn’t such a big deal to me, I’m in the firm belief that a game needs to be fun all the way through its leveling cycle to be a great game.

    I like the idea of the mix weapon/class/armour/guild skill set to create a unique character but I cant help but feel that removing the classes all together would have been a much better idea – I can see that at some point in your leveling experience as you rock up as a sorcerer tank that you are going to get group kicked and told to roll a proper tank class…

    Currently the only thing that would have me in game on release is if enough of my friends decided to take a punt on it – all things even its playing with my extended friends that really appeals and TESO does not do enough wrong to make the game unplayable,

    • I’m sure pricing will be a huge factor in a lot of people’s decisions, especially since the game has a sub on top of the sub price.

      I do like the idea of mixing weapons/class/armor/guild as well, as you know I always appreciate a bit of flex and more choices in my gameplay. I was pretty overwhelmed with all the skill options at first though, makes me think that I’ll have to plan better with my abilities and weapons when I roll my main at launch.

  4. I would definitely play it, if it was F2P.

    • Launching a highly anticipated MMO with a sub seems to be the way to go these days, but my guess is they’ve planned for going F2P eventually. Within a year, I’m betting we’ll see the switch.

  5. I’m amazed by the game. It’s graphics, quests, storyline, character talents. It just beats the way other MMO’s do the same thing. And best of all there’s no grinding!
    The scenery, landscapes and detail everywhere is purely awe inspiring and it kills me to see so much negative reviews everywhere.

    Mostly complaining about the Subscription fee. Elder Scrolls fans are used to paying $40 max for one of their games and that’s the end of paying out $$ – then the players get to spend a good 200 – 400 hours in game without spending another penny.
    Yes, I see peoples point of views, but this is an MMO, that’s estimated to have $200 million spent on it, has server and running costs and has promised to dish out a load more content after launch.

    I just hope ESO gets the recognition it deserves and once released, the word will spread.

    • I don’t think it really bothered me too much when I found out about the sub. But then again, I prefer knowing exactly how much I’ll be paying each month and what I’ll be getting with my money, instead of paying for features piecemeal with no upper limit to how much I know I’ll spend. And I honestly don’t mind giving a company my money if they do a great job with the game and it’s fun to play, which is why even though TSW has gone free-to-play I still pay a monthly sub.

      I hope ESO will find success when it launches too. Agreed that it takes a lot of work and resources to develop an MMO.

  6. I’ll be playing. I was on the fence before the beta weekends, mostly because I’m iffy on having to pay a sub for anything. But after playing the last two betas (wasn’t in any earlier), I’m happy enough to get it and pay the monthly sub for it.

    I managed to source the standard edition at £35 here, so I’m buying two copies at release for hubby and I.

    • That’s fantastic! I was so happy to find a good deal on our preorders as well.

      • I’ve purposefully held off on making an Aldmeri Dominion char so I can experience it as my main for final release. I have a feeling my DC Breton Nightbade from beta will come back though – I got attached to her somehow!

        Are you going to post any other screenies from your beta play? I’m interested to see how your character looks.

      • I’ll definitely put up some screenies in my next post when I get to it! I actually have no idea what faction my guild will be going. Before we had planned on going Ebonheart and I was kicking myself for playing the faction in the beta, since I would have wanted to save it for live. But now it might not matter 😛

  7. […] “And my question is, are you going to play ESO? I think most people generally are going to be interested in that one question anyway. My own answer is a definite resounding “Yes.” I suppose that also answers the question about my overall impression of the game. It’s quite positive; I do like it. And honestly, it only gets better, especially if you have a buddy or two to play with in a group.”  (MMOGC) […]

  8. I guess the answer from me is a NO! I could leave it at that and be fine with that.

    As a picky gamer I’m choosy about what I choose to invest my time into. I mean you can’t even get me to invest my time into a any MMO Game past or present even it’s FREE to PLAY!

    Even though I’ve only followed ESO with mild interest it hasn’t moved me in anyway. The Trailer was awesome though, but that’s still not enough. Most the reviews I’ve seen or reads across various places none I’ve read we’re overwhelming about game play. Most players seemed to be on the fence or not initially playing. Few are those I read that was overwhelmingly interested. That didn’t leave me with much optimism to give it a go as a player.

    When it all boils down to a bite size chunk the last game other than TSW I was interested in was GW2. And I didn’t play that game all that much and never played it past 40 to say the least. I’ve forgotten it even existed almost since I haven’t logged in to okay it since the last time I really put effort into playing it. And since I have even less interest in ESO than I did for GW2 that don’t fare well for interest in putting any great effort into ESO.

    So coming to a logical answer in playing ESO considering my past play….. I have to give it a hard NO in not wasting my money before I decided to waste it.

    • That’s fair, I have friends who have no interest in the game and won’t be buying either. With so many MMO choices on the market these days, I think the best part is all the options it allows us. That not every game will be for everyone means that the genre is still alive and well and interesting enough to appeal to different tastes.

      It’s definitely time to get a little choosier with the MMOs I play, I find I have been skipping a lot more titles than I used to as well. There’s just not enough time or money to play them all.

      • Yeah, I agree – I’m going to take my husband’s advice and wait for it to go f2p. Meantime I have LOTRO which I know that I do still love enough to buy expansions for, Guild Wars to watch with interest – I’m fascinated by their Living World stuff every couple of weeks – and Starbound which I’m doing the beta of and like. It’s a good amount for me just now!

      • Yeah, we’re definitely not lacking in things to play at the moment! And I won’t be surprised if ESO will go F2P down the road, seems most MMOs prepare for that eventuality.

      • Time is always an overriding issue or maybe call it “MMO Gaming Management”.

        If we all had more time we would likely all play more games as an option, helped much with disposable funds to support the habit.

  9. Really glad to hear you are enjoying the game so far. I for one am looking forward to ESO.

  10. Totally!

    Initially I wasn’t that impressed, the character creator isn’t what I would have prefered, thought the somewhat homely characters are certainly in keeping with the other ES games. Also I don’t like how painted on the torso armor looks.

    However, the gameplay!!! It’s actually really good! Also I really enjoyed being able to sort of make my own class and play the way I like. I (throughout the betas) have been playing a Night Blade as a sort of vampiric Bow-Mage, and I keep 2 maces on hand when I come across a fight that is more melee than ranged friendly, and the game doesn’t care at all that I do that. In fact, ESO encourages it!

    I skipped a bunch of content and found myself wandering in an area that was a little over-level for me, but managed to take and complete quests anyhow, through trial and error. I later met a pair of players that were doing the same thing I was, and it was fun and rewarding to play with them. 🙂

    It’ll be interesting once Vampirism and Werewolves are brought into the game… I wonder how Zenimax will do it?

    • LOL! Homely characters are a good way to put it…I was so frustrated at the beginning when I found I couldn’t make an attractive character to save my life. Definitely some huge improvements since the beginning.

      And wow, nice Night Blade tactics. I just love how flexible the classes are in the game. I’ve been playing NB too but in a more traditional style dual wield rogue, but then I added siphoning because there seemed to be no way around it if I wanted to survive. Wow, what a huge change.

      Werewolves and vampires in game would be neat, I hope they implement them in a good way though 😀

      • Thanks for the compliment on the Nightblade strategy! I’m having a great time playing how I want to in this game, I can’t wait for release!

        So last weekend I gave Daggerfall a shot, and made a red-headed Breton woman, and actually she was really cute! I was pretty surprised! I didn’t get far with her as I had a trip planned last weekend, but playing something other than a Khajiit was a really nice break.

        Here, let me dig out a screencap… OK: http://files.enjin.com.s3.amazonaws.com/158410/module_gallery/original/1722448.jpg

        Not bad looking for something I didn’t have to slap 85+ mods onto. 🙂 (referring to my Skyrim client XD)

        Yeah, siphoning is amazing… and from some screencaps I’ve seen… some player characters have red, glowing eyes.. what a tease!!

    • I agree about there being a lot more customization with Classes, as well as with Weapons, Armor, Talents and Enchants etc.

      There’s no set-in-stone way of creating a player, you just make him/her your way and play in whatever style you want. And that’s a big fresh feeling that I get, compared to other MMO’s.

      • I think so too, and I don’t think it’s something more people realize. I’ll admit when I first played, it was hard to get out of my mindset of oh, my templar needs to wear heavy armor and be a sword and board type magical tanky class. It wasn’t until I really branched out that I found out how much more flexible and fun this game could be.

      • Exactly. Like you I started with a Templar, by the Description of them I geared up in Full Heavy Armor and a Sword/Shield.

        But as I progressed, I found out you can progress your character in nearly any way you wish. Take the Templar’s seeing as we’re talking about them, they have the Talents to be a Heavy Armored Tank, a Healer, or even to output decent Magic DPS.

        And then because we can wear whatever Armor type we wish and yield any weapon – it just gives you unlimited choices as how to play.

        I created a new Templar as a High Elf the 2nd time around. Tuned his Talents towards Magic and geared him up in Heavy Armor and a Staff. Then I have my own Armored Healing DPS Mage – Simply Amazing! 😉

      • Agreed! I think Force (a youtuber) said it best, that the classes you start with are more like a suggestion on gameplay, and really not much else. Like making a Sorcerer into a leather-clad magical rogue. ❤

  11. […] Gypsy. The Cynic Dialogues. MMO Cast. MMO Gamerchick. Braxwolf […]

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